Bishops to Duterte: Stick to real issues

Bishops to Duterte: Stick to real issues

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle. CBCPNEWS

By CBCP News

March 11, 2020

Manila, Philippines

It’s not as if the Philippines is lacking real issues.

Catholic bishops said President Rodrigo Duterte must stick to real and urgent issues instead of wasting time on “unfounded” accusations.

They said that the rising cases of coronavirus and the controversies hounding the offshore gambling activities in the country alone ought to be able to keep Duterte busy.

“I suggest that we go back to the real issues of the day,” said Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan and the Vice President of the Philippine bishops’ conference.

He particularly urged Duterte to deal with the increasing cases of Covid-19 “and how to get our act together in order to prevent it from further spreading in our country”.

Duterte on Tuesday claimed that Pope Francis “removed” Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle from his post as Manila archbishop for “meddling” in politics.

Speaking before an assembly of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines in Pasay City, he said that Tagle was investigated for allegedly using church funds to support the opposition.

“Nothing could more ridiculous, or even ludicrous,” said David.

The cardinal left Manila last month to assume his post as Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

Bishop Broderick Pabillo, the Apostolic Administrator of Manila, refused to comment on Duterte’s attack against Tagle.

“No need to dignify unfounded accusations,” he said.

For his part, Bishop Alberto Uy of Tagbilaran also defended Tagle, saying that the cardinal “enjoys Pope Francis’ trust and confidence”.

“He is a model of humility, kindness, integrity and holiness. I am a personal witness to his exemplary intelligence and Christian virtues,” he said.